Bullmastiff Breed Standard
American Kennel Club Working Group
Approved Feb 8, 1992 Effective Mar 31, 1992
history of the Bullmastiff begins about the year 1860 in England. The
problem of keeping large estates and game preserves free from poachers
was an acute one. The gamekeepers enlisted the aid of a dog to aid in
guarding off poachers. They needed fearless dogs that would attack on
command, for those needs they crossed the Mastiff with the Bulldog, the
Bullmastiff was founded. Dogs of dark brindle color were preferred for
the work at night. They were referred to as the Night Dog.
The English Kennel Club recognized the Bullmastiff as a purebred dog in
1924. The American Kennel Club recognized the Bullmastiff in October of
That of a symmetrical animal,
showing great strength, endurance, and alertness; powerfully built but
active. The foundation breeding was 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The
breed was developed in England by gamekeepers for protection against
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size--Dogs, 25 to 27 inches at the withers, and 110 to 130 pounds
weight. Bitches, 24 to 26 inches at the withers, and 100 to 120 pounds
Other things being equal, the more substantial dog within these
limits is favored.
Proportion--The length from tip of breastbone to rear
of thigh exceeds the height from withers to ground only slightly,
resulting in a nearly square appearance.
Expression--Keen, alert, and intelligent. Eyes Dark and of medium size.
Ears--V-shaped and carried close to the cheeks, set on wide and high,
level with occiput and cheeks, giving a square appearance to the skull;
darker in color than the body and medium in size. Skull Large, with a
fair amount of wrinkle when alert; broad, with cheeks well developed.
Muzzle--Broad and deep; its length, in
comparison with that of the entire head, approximately as 1 is to 3.
Lack of foreface with nostrils set on top of muzzle is a reversion to
the Bulldog and is very undesirable. A dark muzzle is preferable.
Nose--Black, with nostrils large and broad.
Flews--Not too pendulous.
Bite--Preferably level or slightly undershot. Canine teeth large and set
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck--Slightly arched, of moderate length, very muscular, and almost
equal in circumference to the skull.
Topline--Straight and level between
withers and loin.
Body--Compact. Chest wide and deep, with ribs well
sprung and well set down between the forelegs.
Back--Short, giving the
impression of a well balanced dog.
Loin--Wide, muscular, and slightly
arched, with fair depth of flank.
Tail--Set on high, strong at the root,
and tapering to the hocks. It may be straight or curved, but never
carried hound fashion.
Shoulders--muscular but not loaded, and slightly sloping.
Forelegs--straight, well boned, and set well apart; elbows turned
neither in nor out. Pasterns straight, feet of medium size, with round
toes well arched. Pads thick and tough, nails black.
Broad and muscular, with well developed second thigh denoting power, but
not cumbersome. Moderate angulation at hocks. Cowhocks and splay feet are serious faults.
Short and dense, giving good weather protection.
Red, fawn, or brindle. Except for a very small white spot on the chest,
marking is considered a fault.
Free, smooth, and powerful. When viewed from the side, reach and drive
indicate maximum use of the dog's moderate angulation. Back remains
level and firm. Coming and going, the dog moves in a straight line. Feet
tend to converge under the body, without crossing over, as speed
increases. There is no twisting in or out at the joints.
Fearless and confident yet docile. The dog combines the reliability,
intelligence, and willingness to please required in a dependable family
companion and protector.